Sunday, July 17, 2011

a chemical reaction

The idea of human connection has always intrigued me. Seemingly, we form physical connections with people and that involves emotional connections. We can also form emotional connections without any physical connection at all. Feelings and emotions are caused by chemical reactions in the brain. Love, passion, and happiness are experienced by a release of Endorphins and Oxytocin. Anger from the hormone Testosterone, depression from a chemical imbalance - A lessening of Dopamine, Serotonin. Our mental state affects our physical state, and vice versa. Our brain is the power house, the command center. It controls everything.

Of course, some will debate that emotions are unable to be explained by brain reactions. This is referring to the idea that there can be this blending of emotion. The grand scale of the human emotional spectrum isn’t a bullet-point list. You have love, anger, happiness, fear, etc. But are emotions always that definable? You can feel more than one emotion at once, and you can feel a sort of blending of different emotions that seems unfitting to a boundary. Those that argue against emotions being strictly an affect of our mental state will usually fantasize the notion of a separate being, or a soul. They will argue that since feelings are so inexplicable, and indescribable, that there must be some sort of higher power or being within our very own selves that controls these things. And most people believe in the idea of a soul, or something separate from their brains, usually using the heart as a metaphor, or a source for this “soul”. But what I find interesting, is that the very notion of the “soul” itself was created in our minds. We thought and believed in this idea using our brain.

I find a lot of people, and I used to be one of them, have an issue with making that connection. There’s the religion and science, soul and brain separation there. That somehow our physical state is lesser to our mind’s state, when really it’s all one in the same. In order for our mind to work in it’s fullest and proper form, our physiology has to be working properly, and when it is working properly, our minds excel. It’s a cycle that is connected. The idea of the soul, and our beliefs on that, is a perception. And perceptions are created in the mind. Our entire universe is in our minds.

By that rational, I have to question why our brains would chose to force this separation? Why our brains seemingly split themselves in these halves, constantly battling the other for dominance when they are supposed to be working in perfect unison. Why would our brains let us believe in things like souls, and higher powers, and destiny when our brains know the truth behind these matters. It seems as though there are things we cannot yet be capable of understanding, or that there is something else at play.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

a quote

"...even though you have more options and more opportunities to do what you want, you still find yourself trying to figure out how to re-create things that happen naturally... trying to re-create reality by using something that's based on algorithms and numbers. Say you were to take a pane of glass and drop it on a rock. Basically, the chaos theory, the breakage. You can always mathematically come up with the way the glass breaks, but there are so many variables going on in there that it's not something you can re-create easily, no matter how much technology you have." -Chris Olivia

I like to think of this quote in terms of humanity's ability to feel sympathetic and empathetic. This post relates to an earlier post made by Angela Albanese. When I read what she wrote, I thought of what Chris Olivia had said about not being able to map things that are mappable because of the variables. That's life itself, put simplistically. Things CAN be mapped out. Things CAN be determined, and asssumed and witnessed and felt, but nothing can truly be re-created emotionally. There are too many variables within ourselves as people. If you can't do this with a digital graphic, as Olivia was referring to, then how can we do this with the human mind?

We are far too vast. We can inspire empathy, but we can never invoke true understanding.

Having said this, I do believe that because all things in and on this universe are made up of atoms and molecules, it is possible to cause a re-arrangement of sorts in order to make an exact replica of an inanimate object. I use this understanding in my artwork. I break up what I am re-creating, if my art happens to be a re-creation, by taking every single speck of the original artwork in at a time, and re-creating each speck perfectly. Obviously my mind has not been trained to do this exact yet, but it is what I claim the cause and origin, what I hold responsible for having made such progress in my work in such a short period of time. 

However, when it comes to re-creating something inanimate that cannot be seen, and only felt, when feelings themselves are undefinable and sometimes unattainable, then this theory cannot be applied. There are too many variables... within personality, within upbringing. How do I know this person was raised to have the same understanding of the word "love" as I do? And in my experience and with my knowledge, that theory can never really be applied to emotion. We connect with eachother only through ideas, the idea that we do relate without ever really knowing it. If you watch a psychopath, they try to re-create emotion based on what they see, they can understand the meaning but can't actually feel the emotion. The meaning and the feeling are forever separate.

That, in itself, is a beautiful thought. We have no proof that we are connected, but we connect none the less through blind faith that we truly are having the same experience or reciprocating that same emotion that we seemingly have for eachother.